Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (2H) evaluate: Faster, higher, and far pricier

This’ll be a fairly darn good laptop computer — when you’re truly capable of purchase it.

2021 as a yr has introduced us loads of nice Chromebook mannequin updates. The Acer Chromebook Spin 713, the Lenovo Flex 5, the HP x360 14c, and now the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is getting its second refresh this yr. Yup, that is proper, I already reviewed the Ryzen-powered Spin 514 again in February. So after I obtained this pre-production Acer Chromebook Spin 514 mannequin for analysis final week, I assumed this is able to be one other incremental improve for an additional mid-range Chromebook. After all, the Ryzen model of the Spin 514 is among the higher Chromebooks we obtained this yr, particularly for the beneath $500 crowd.

But the 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook I’m typing on proper now’s seeking to play with one of the best enterprise Chromebooks and premium Chromebooks as a substitute. We’ve traded again to Intel with fanless eleventh Gen Intel Core i5/i7 configurations with extra RAM and storage, in addition to fixing the one design flaw I had with final winter’s mannequin (yay). Unfortunately, all these upgrades include the next worth, however does the brand new Spin 514 earn that increased price ticket?

Let’s discover out.

At a look

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-2H)

Bottom line: Acer’s stepping up its business-class choices with a beefier Acer Chromebook Spin 514, with fanless Intel Core processors and up-facing audio system for higher audio when watching movies or taking part in a video name with out headphones. The added energy may not be price the additional a whole lot over the present mannequin, although.

The Good

  • Fanless i5 that does not overheat
  • Long battery life
  • Simple, brilliant design

The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Speakers are good, not nice
  • Not obtainable till 2022

See at Acer

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Price and availability

Acer introduced the Chromebook Spin 514 on October 13, 2021, with the laptop computer occurring sale in Europe the identical month and a projected North American launch in January 2022. The launch pricing begins at $700 in North America and begins at € 700 in Europe.

Category Acer Chromebook Spin 514
Display 14-inch IPS touchscreen
1920 x 1080 px
USI pen help
Processor eleventh Gen Intel Core i3
eleventh Gen Intel Core i5
eleventh Gen Intel Core i7
Graphics Intel Iris X Graphics
Storage 256GB-512GB SSD
Expandable Storage
Camera FHD MIPI webcam
Blue glass filter
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4)
Audio combo jack
Audio Dual up-facing stereo audio system
DTS Audio • Smart Amplifier
Battery Up to 10 hours
Dimensions 12.7 x 8.88 x 0.68 inches
321.5 x 209.7 x 16.9 mm
Weight 3.02 lbs (1.37 kg)

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Fixing previous errors

Looking again to my evaluations of the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 and Acer Chromebook Spin 513, not a lot of something has modified on the design entrance. We’ve nonetheless obtained a pleasant silver lid with a mirror-finish Acer brand sitting left-center, beneath it sits a 14-inch 1080p touchscreen, a backlit keyboard, and — cue the fireworks — up-facing audio system, the one drawback I had with the final model of the Spin 514. Two DTS-tuned stereo audio system now fill what was beforehand useless house on the perimeters of the keyboard, making movies sound clearer and music sound sweeter, particularly when your laptop computer is not sitting on a desk or desk.

The audio system will get a lot loud, and sound high quality is improved however nonetheless not earth-shattering. They’re wonderful for a weekend Hulu binge in mattress, however you may nonetheless need exterior audio system or headphones for something apart from informal music listening. The display screen is brilliant sufficient for indoor or shaded outside searching, with a pleasant dynamic vary for movies and a responsive multi-touch show.

The touchscreen was good and responsive, whether or not I used to be simply scrolling by Twitter or taking part in by the day by day challenges on Microsoft Solitaire Collection. As a 2-in-1 you can fold again into Stand or pill mode, the Acer Spin 514’s touchscreen must work persistently, and it does, however for those who’re in laptop computer mode, Acer additionally has a pleasant easy trackpad that glides nicer than the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i I’ve additionally been reviewing.

The ports are predictably positioned: a USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port on all sides close to the hinge, adopted by HDMI and three.5mm on the left and USB-A on the precise. There’s no microSD card slot right here, which you should not miss, provided that the SSD storage begins at 256GB. Between the i5 and storage, this laptop computer is prepared and ready for Google and Steam to lastly give us the Chromebook gaming followers have wished, not simply sport streaming through Stadia, Game Pass, or GeForce Now.

Finally, a fanless Intel Chromebook carried out correctly!

That eleventh Gen i5 used here’s a fanless mannequin, which is extra nice information for me and anybody else susceptible to utilizing their Chromebook of their lap whereas on the sofa, in mattress, sitting on the gate ready in your subsequent flight, or whereas chilling on the again porch whereas your children play with the canine. Unfortunately, fanless fashions generally is a little bit of a double-edged sword: no fan means no noise, but it surely additionally signifies that if the producer will get something mistaken, the laptop computer can actually get too scorching to deal with, which is what occurred to the unique Galaxy Chromebook.

Thankfully, Acer has managed the warmth and the processor effectively sufficient that it will not overheat, even for those who run it for 16 hours alternating between tables and lap use like I did at the moment. The battery is rated to final “up to 10 hours,” and I often obtained 8-9 on gentle work, frequent tab-hopping, and me getting distracted over to Twitter about twice an hour.

My evaluate unit got here with 8GB of RAM, which is nice until you are an absolute tab-hoarder. If you might be, you may need to seize a 16GB mannequin — and please search skilled assist since you ought to actually study to let go and shut your tabs while you’re carried out.

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Not going far sufficient

While I’m joyful the Spin 514 mounted the issues of its predecessor, it is a full $200 dearer. Of course, Intel processors price extra, however that is nonetheless not sufficient to cowl fairly that massive of an upcharge. If they’d given us a 2K display screen just like the Spin 713 or at the very least the next brightness, that may assist take a number of the edge off, however alas, it is the identical 14-inch 1080p display screen we noticed earlier this yr.

Granted, reductions will come eventually — and contemplating the observe document of Acer laptops at Best Buy, I’m betting they will come sooner — and that’ll take off the sting. All of my different nitpicks are extra for the enterprise phase than client: the digicam lacks a bodily shutter, there isn’t any handbook shut-off for the mics, and there isn’t any fingerprint sensor.

Acer hyped the audio system and webcam as being optimized for video conferencing — which most of us are commonly doing now — however the audio system aren’t mind-blowing; they’re simply good. Up-facing is ten occasions higher than down-facing, and so they’ll get a lot loud, however they do not like softer or higher-register voices. That final reality would not be that related besides that these audio system are supposedly tuned for video calls. Unfortunately, this DTS-tuning solely works effectively for some voices, not all, and that might make this a foul match for educators who would possibly video convention with youthful, increased voices often.

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Competition

With the $700 price ticket, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514’s closest competitor is definitely its cousin, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 which can also be priced at $700 and comes with an eleventh Gen i5, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The Spin 713 has a greater display screen with a 3:2 facet ratio, 2K decision, and 400 nits of brightness, but it surely is also powered by a model of the i5 that requires a fan, that means it makes noise when it is working. The Spin 514 is quieter as a result of it is fanless, however the greater 14-inch display screen is simply 1080p and has a extra normal 250-nits brightness. The Spin 713 can also be getting semi-regular reductions to $619 and is obtainable for buy proper now.

If you want this function set however cannot go that prime, there’s additionally the present Acer Chromebook Spin 514. It’s $500 at Best Buy, however $100 reductions are semi-regular, simply as they’re for the Spin 713. I’d level you in the direction of the Spin 513, too, however that Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform is much too meager to significantly compete with a current-gen Core i5 processor.

If you continue to need energy however need one thing a little bit extra sturdy and with a greater display screen choice, take a peek over on the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook. It’s obtained equal energy within the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 configs, and there is a 4K, 400-nit show choice, with Lenovo often discounting it for each vacation it may well discover or make-up. My evaluate of the Lenovo Flex 5i shall be up quickly, however you may get extra energy and no followers for about the identical worth with the brand new Spin 514.

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Should you purchase it?

You can purchase this if …

  • You desire a highly effective, quiet laptop computer
  • Battery life is necessary to you
  • You video convention with out headphones (you monster)

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

  • You want a laptop computer proper now
  • You work open air often
  • You have a restricted price range

Despite my complaints in regards to the pricing, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is a darn good laptop computer. It’s obtained good, easy efficiency, even after I had two home windows and about 20 tabs open at a time — plus an Android app, as a result of Freecell helps my mind stretch after hours of writing. The up-facing audio system imply you possibly can hear your music or Netflix episode even when curled up on the sofa, and the show’s adequate to binge on. This laptop computer can be the proper sofa companion — if it weren’t $700.

out of 5

Once this laptop computer goes on sale in North America subsequent yr, give it a month or two for the gross sales to return in. Once this hits $550 or beneath, the value will match the worth, and as soon as it is in your palms, it ought to be an incredible Chromebook to final you for years to return. If you want one proper now, although, you may need to head over to our greatest Chromebooks for one thing you should purchase proper now.

Silent satisfaction

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-2H)

See at Acer

Business within the entrance, efficiency within the again

This fanless Chromebook will not overheat on you want a Galaxy Chromebook, and it will not pollute your quiet workplace with fan noise just like the Acer Spin 713. Instead, we’re left with a strong Chromebook that’ll final a full workday and be good for taking part in Android video games, Stadia, or a Hulu binge after hours.

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